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Appearances: Keeping Up without All the Make-Up

I’ve decided make-up is optional these days. In truth, I’ve always thought it was. But, now I know it is. I mean, why bother if I’m not going anywhere?

Except when I go on Zoom. Then maybe just a little concealer to hide those fine lines and wrinkles. But, I guess the software can enhance facial features enough to make it look like a person is wearing make-up. So, I wonder again, what is the point?

Now masks are being recommended in public places. If I’m going to cover up half my face, why bother using cover-up on the other half?

Like many things these days, not much makes sense. If any of us predicted the sequestered scenario we are experiencing, we would probably say “You’re making that up.”

So, why “put on my face”?

Sometimes we do what doesn’t make sense to make others feel better. If we are going to wear masks to protect others from a disease we can’t see, maybe it makes sense to wear make-up to brighten the eyes and lighten the dark circles. But, I’m still not sure it makes much sense if I wear mascara during allergy season and during a time of emotional turmoil for so many of us.

There’s something more important I need to put on my face besides make-up. This will sound trite. I remember being annoyed when I heard something similar from my grandmother during my growing-up years. Sometimes I just wanted to be sad and angry and let everyone know it. I’m not sure I was good at hiding my state of being from anyone in the first place. Why would she keep reminding me to do the thing I couldn’t seem to do in those moments and why did it make me more sad and angry that she wanted me to do it?

Now I understand why. I see why I need to do it. It isn’t for myself, though it does help. It’s for other people.

Every day I need to put on my smile.

I know. If I wear a mask on half my face, what difference will it make if I smile?

Maybe smiling behind the mask brightens these eyes and lightens those dark circles. Not only my own. The ones that belong to those who smile back, too.

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